The Insider, Maximum Russell Crowe

Maximum Russell Crowe

The Insider

Russell as Jeffrey Wigand

(Photo: very special thanks to Garth Franklin of

Jeffrey Wigand


What it's about:

Based on the true story of former tobacco executive Jeffrey Wigand, who blew the whistle on American tobacco companies' efforts to get -- and keep -- smokers hooked. The movie chronicles Wigand's relationship with "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman, who risked his career to air an interview with Wigand even after CBS pulled the plug. Wigand risked more than his job to get his message to the masses: After being fired from Brown & Williamson Tobacco, then talking to the media, he endured lawsuits, a smear campaign and, the real Wigand claims, even death threats against him and his family, all at the hands of Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann

Writers: Michael Mann and Eric Roth

Also stars: Al Pacino (Lowell Bergman), Lindsay Crouse (Sharon Bergman), Diane Venora (Lucretia Wigand), Christopher Plummer (Mike Wallace), Gina Gershon (Ellen Kaden), Michael Gambon (Thomas Sandefur) Mike Moore (himself), Colm Feore (Richard Scruggs), Bruce McGill, Renee Olstead, Hallie Kate Eisenberg, Robbie Tomlin, Bill Sage, Steve Salge (Dan Rather)

Cool cameos: Gary Sandy, Breckin Meyer

Formerly known as "Man of the People"

Release date: November 5, 1999 (U.S.)
January 26, 2000 (Australia)
March 10, 2000 (U.K.)

Video / DVD

Columbia / Sony Music

Russell on the set with Pacino and Mann

Russell on the set with Michael Mann and Al Pacino


"The Insider" (formerly known as "Man of the People") is based on the magazine article "The Man Who Knew Too Much" written by Marie Brenner for Vanity Fair.

Other filming locations included: Mobile, Alabama; Berkeley and Los Angeles, California and Pascagoula, Mississippi.



Once again we will see Russell as we have never seen him before. Dr. Jeffrey Wigand is not the most likable character Russell has ever played but a man true to his word.

As Wigand with daughter


Russell as Wigand


Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) is younger than Jeffrey Wigand!

The makeup department had so much trouble with Russell's hair each day that they ended up shaving his head and made him wear a wig.

Russell learned some Japanese for a scene in the film and while he can't understand it, he speaks it perfectly.

Russell, ever the perfectionist, also spent hours analyzing and practicing his golf swing for a brief scene in the movie.

Yes, Hallie Kate Eisenberg, who plays Russell's youngest daughter, IS the girl in the Pepsi commercials.

Russell reportedly got along well with his young co-stars. He even gave Hallie a pair of Rollerblades as a gift.

Mann gained fame as the producer of the hit 1980s TV show Miami Vice.

Pacino and Venora starred in the film Heat, which Mann wrote, produced and directed. Insider cinematographer Dante Spinotti also worked on the film.

Mann's 1986 film, Manhunter, featured the onscreen debut of the character Dr. Hannibal 'The Cannibal' Lecter (played by actor Brian Cox). Five years later, Anthony Hopkins gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. That same year, he co-starred with Russell in Spotswood.

More Six Degrees of Russell Crowe: Diane Venora co-starred in F/X with Aussie actor Bryan Brown, who later co-starred with Russell in Prisoners of the Sun. She also had a role in Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell's co-star in . Pacino's pet project, Looking for Richard, featured LA Confidential's Kevin Spacey.


There are 2 versions of the poster for the film. One features Al Pacino as Bergman. The second features Russell as Wigand. (Seen below)
The Insider Poster

Photo courtesy of Disney



"This film, if it has ÷ in my mind anyway ÷ a social significance or social impact, it's about the fact that it's still OK to be a man of honor in America." ( 11/99)


"It was very interesting. He's an American icon and incredibly deep and sparkling talent. It was a very big moment for me."


Click (and scroll) to hear Russell's quote.


The following photographs of Russell are by Eric Suthoff. Very special thanks to Eric and also to Mike Jackson of Mental Pictures.

on the seton the set

closeupon the set

MAXIMUM CROWE exclusive interviews!
The real Insider, Dr. Jeffrey Wigand !
The real Lowell Bergman !

A Maximum Crowe exclusive!

The following report comes from "Lillian," an extra in the film. She writes about hanging with Russell, Al Pacino, and other members of the cast and crew at lunch, followed by the read through of the script. A very special thanks to "Lillian" for her report.

Lunch was an amazing experience. Filming had not yet begun so Crowe still had his long hair, which came to his jaw bone, and a light beard. He was dressed casually, as was everyone else except for a couple of business types in the back.

After we ate, the script read through began. I sat on the other end of the table, across from Crowe who sat at the head; Pacino sat next to Mann. [Christopher] Plummer and the rest of the cast sat along the sides. The entire ordeal took several hours and my lines didn't come until midway through the script. Pacino and Crowe were very friendly, shooting jokes back and forth as the plot unfolded. Interestingly, the real Wigand was being kept downstairs away from the reading. Apparently, according to assistants, Mann didn't want him to hear the script yet.

As we reached break, Crowe shuffled out into the hallway and promptly lit up a cigarette, mumbling about this thing taking too long. When we returned, it was time for my scene with Russell. Needless to say I was a bit nervous, especially as the cameras which where placed around the room focused in on me. I suppose Crowe could tell I was a bit uncomfortable, so he gave me a reassuring nod before we began. Everything went smooth as silk. . .

Filming with Crowe was so kicked back, hardly what I expected. His first words when he arrived on the set . . . "Hey guys, what's black and white and has a dirty name? Sister Mary Shithead!" Between takes he entertained the cast and crew with other dirty jokes while his make-up artist would give his wig touch ups (at the end of the day he took it off so we could see his bald head).

When the question came up of whether my character should have a name, Crowe suggested it be, "Babe." I was already tense as all hell and that just about made me faint. I laughed it up tho, with everyone else, and told him that "worked for me."

Honestly, I'm not sure if my scene will make the final cut of the film, but in the long run, I don't care so much. Crowe and Mann are two wonderful people who gave me the best summer of my life. That's better than any screen time an extra could get. As for now I'm just eager to see the final product in November and I hope it's every bit the masterpiece people say it is.


The Insider: IN PRINT

Read the latest

Read the latest

(Includes recent major photo advertisments)


Jeffrey Wigand
Jeffrey Wigand
(Photo: Reuters)

View the U.K trailer .
Japanese trailer . (thanks to Nao!)

Purchase the soundtrack.

(Search for old articles)

of the "60 Minutes" interview with Mike Wallace and Dr. Jeffrey Wigand, 2/4/96.

by Marie Brenner/Vanity Fair (thanks to Myst)

(photos / links)

(photos / links)

The Insider info. (thanks to Susan from Al Pacino's Loft)

The July/ August 1999 issue of features a six-page article about the film. (No new photos of Russell. Thanks to photographer Eric Suthoff, we have the uncropped version above.)

Nov. 1, 1999 article, "Truth & Consequences"

Anti-smoking campaign

Read the script
(Thanks to Cynthia and Elizabeth)


To purchase The Insider DVD or Video (VHS OR PAL) or soundtrack click here


Any cast, crew members or extras out there? We'd love to hear from you. You can contact us at:

Unless otherwise noted, photos: Frank Conner (L.A. Times 11/29/98)

|| || || || Our Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Wigand || Our Interview with Lowell Bergman || ||

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